UNC Asheville is among America’s “green” colleges and universities, and has been included in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges for 2012,” released this week. The guide profiles institutions that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation, and was created in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (www.usgbc.org).
The guide notes the green features of new buildings on the UNC Asheville campus, including geothermal heating and cooling, solar thermal hot water heating, and the rainwater catchment system to irrigate athletic fields. Other green aspects of UNC Asheville’s operations are the university’s high waste diversion rate, and its record of reducing petroleum usage. According to the guide, “In 2005, all North Carolina state agencies were challenged to reduce petroleum usage by 20 percent before 2010. UNC Asheville did way better than that. To date, UNC Asheville has reduced petroleum usage by more than 45 percent from baseline levels set in 2005.”
“Proactive students are also leading the charge with the recent formation of the Student Environmental Center (SEC),” according to the guide. “The SEC, which offers plenty of student internships, has increased the loaner-bike fleet for the campus community, institutionalized post-consumer composting in the dining halls (where 50 percent of food expenditures go towards local, organic, or otherwise environmentally preferable food), and started a campus garden.”
In addition to UNC Asheville, other N.C. schools included in the guide are Appalachian State University, Catawba College, Duke University, Elon University, Guilford College, N.C. State University, UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, Warren Wilson College and Western Carolina University.